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Thread: Maybe a New Twist on Some Old Ideas Here

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To me, Tolkien resembles Bilbo most strongly, and I think that's the most common parallel drawn between Tolkien and any character in his books. When I first read the Hobbit, I pictured Tolkien really very much the way you described him. He seemed to me like a grandfatherly sort of person, but one who could sort of put himself into the mindset of a child and relate to a kid as well or maybe even better than he could to an adult.
I would have to say Bilbo is most like Tolkien himself. They were both writers, kinda grandfatherly, smoked pipes, slightly absentminded (not sure where I got that about Tolkien, but that is just an impression that I have) and very good humoured.
I thought of Tolkien as being most like Gandalf, the character who knew the whole story and guided the others. Bilbo seemed to me to be caught up in it and the events that happened to him weren't of his choosing. Gandalf more chose where and what events he was involved in.
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I also think he was probably very fond of children and did not forget to entertain them as well as adults. I think he got a sense of hope from kids, I get the sense that whatever Tolkien found right and wrong in the world, he saw it through the idea of what is best for the future and/or children


i agree. and i'd like to add that i belive that he was a bit 'child-minded'. not in a naive way, please don't get me wrong. i've always thought of him as a wise, friendly and warm person. (and it's quite difficult to get a different notion, especially while reading the Hobbit.) he was a child in his HEART.
that's how i like to think of him.

but i'd rather identyfy him as Gandalf. he wasn't olny a leader and a guide, but also a friend for those lesser of him. (like the hobbits. and he didn't care, if he was mocked for it.) but you know what- i think there's a bit of Tolkien in every character he creatad.
I think that writers inevitably let some of themselves slip into their writing, music's idea has a lot of merrit.

I think that Tolkien put a lot of himself into Bilbo and Gandalf (for all the reasons cited above), but also Elrond.

It is clear from Tolkien's writing alone that he is a lover of language, mythology, culture and history. If Tolkien himself were inside ME, he would be called a Loremaster (as opposed to 'Professor'). It is very tempting for writers (and I know that to some extent, I have done this myself) to create characters that represent what they would like to be, or at least the type of character that they would very much admire in real life. Can't you just imagine the good professor and Elrond having many a lengthy fireside chat? I think that if Tolkien was an Elf, he would be very like the halfelven loremaster of Rivendel.

What startles me about Tolkien's writing is its passion. Tolkien must have been a passionate man; his prose evokes strong feelings from the reader. A far cry from the tweed-wearing, pipe-smoking university lecturer image. Big Smile Smilie Wink Smilie
Good insights everyone! I especially like Allyssa's, it's interesting since you are also a writer, to hear some of the tricks of the trade that Tolkien may have employed when developing his characters. So do you find that any of your characters are somewhat autobiographical or self-idealistic (you the way you wish you were), Allyssa?
Yes I have to agree with Allyssa, about Tolkien and Elrond. I really can see them sitting there by the fire chatting.

I just think that Tolkien was a good person with a kind and passionate soul, that loved his children and he conveyed that throughout writing all of his Tales.

I also remember that he identified with Beren, and thught of his wife as Luthien. He even had the names Beren and Luthien placed on their tombstones. That was another beautiful story of true love.

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So do you find that any of your characters are somewhat autobiographical or self-idealistic (you the way you wish you were), Allyssa?


My protagonist Allyssa has many traits that I wish I had. She is beautiful for a start! She has long mahogany hair, startling blue/green eyes and a figure to die for. I would also like to be as clever as she is and as good natured. She also makes close friends a lot more quickly than I do.

However, her niavite at times annoys me. It gets her into a lot of trouble. So does her penchant for 'borrowing' without asking.

Allyssa resembles the real me very little.

Another of my characters, Jasper, has my sense of humour. Needless to say, I find him very funny.

Kerridon, my mage character, probably has my habbit of being absent minded, and occasionally clumsy (for which he gets very annoyed with himself). Kerridon also adores cats.

Tamsin, my mysterious ranger, has my habbit of giving lectures on things that he finds interesting - I really must try to stop that!

Karolek is a dreamer. Yep. He definately gets that from me.

I think there is a little of me in most of my characters. They are almost like children to me.

If I could be like one of Tolkien's characters, I would want to be like Elrond, wise, intelligent, warm, caring and able to laugh in spite of all the grief he has had.
Someone go to my thread Orc Song? in the Prancing Pony!
to Allyssa: Thumbs Up Smilie
whow! they're are really interesting! (i find Tamsin to be the most interesting one course we are quite similar Wiggle Smilie )
about idealising characters: actually, i try not to do it, because i find it to be quite boring to write/read about someone, who is PERFECT in all he/she/it does.
i have a nasty habit though- i make them sad. and serious, even if they're just kids. that's my biggest problen right now. (i'm going throug an evil-dark period.)
I find it interesting what Allyssa said, having the same experience myself with writing. Often I make my characters the friends I would like to have but don't.
As to Tolkien and LotR, I think that Tolkien did a lot of that too. I find it interesting that he identified himself with Beren because I don't find him very much like Beren at all. Perhaps it is a case of being 'self-idealistic'.
Myself I think that Tolkien is much like Gandalf and Faramir. Gandalf is wise, and a lore-master in his own way, he is short tempered and likes to lecture people, but he can give good advice and is kind to hobbits and other people. Faramir, I think, reflects the more quiet side of Tolkien. He is so wise he may at times seem mean, but farther down he is quite passionate.
I can also see Tolkien as Merry or Pippin, not really wanting anything out of the ordinary, only a warm fire and a pint of beer!